Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Good Reading

So I stayed up last night re-reading Gary Chapman's Five Love Languages. What a basic, yet remarkable premise. The basis, if you haven't read it, is that everyone has a basic "love language" that speaks to them. Acts of Service, Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch or Gifts. Of course, as human beings, our tendency is to give what we want to get. So I'm an Acts of Service kinda girl! I love it when someone does something for me, UNBIDDEN, that takes pressure or responsibility or even hassle off of my plate. J, however, is a Words of Affirmation guy. So I am doing his laundry, buying his favorite kinds of groceries, keeping the house clean, ect., and then getting pissed off because he doesn't appreciate it (verbally). In turn, he's telling me how beautiful I am and how much he loves me, needs me, desires me, etc. And I'm rolling my eyes! So, the moral of my little story?

I need to stop being so busy doing for him, and tell him how I feel about him. He needs to quit telling me how he feels about me and show me. So simple, really. Too bad I didn't write the book and make millions off the concept! But hey, if you try it and your relationship gets better? Feel free to make a donation. We'll stick it in the yet-to-be-scheduled wedding fund.

And Keri, if you're reading this; HAPPY BIRTHDAY, dear friend! I am so glad to call you my friend. I am proud of the woman that you are becoming. You'll be an awesome nurse and add to the long list of attributes and jobs you already hold . . . great Mom, kind friend, faithful believer, beautiful woman . . . May this year be your best year yet! Love ya, girl! See ya Thursday!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Did Grandma Take on the Jell-o Shots?

Sadly, no. But the rest of us partook of our fair share, plus hers! I can't upload any pictures because my battery is dead as a doornail. (What is a doornail, anyway?) I can't find my charger. And remarkably, the house is relatively well-organized and clean - other than the front closet, that is. So the charger? It must be in the front closet. I will find it tomorrow!

I loved seeing my crazy NY cousin this weekend. It's the first time I've seen him in his role as a parent. Crazy. His little boy is just adorable. Total character. A mini-me of his crazy father. And my cousin's wife? A total doll. He's a lucky man! We fully enjoy giving each other as much crap as possible. It's the basis of our relationship. I told D that about 90% of what my cousin said should be fully ignored! Who gives that type of advice to a child unless truly necessary?!?!

The family has mostly headed home, with the New York contingent heading out tomorrow. J left tonight for a training in San Diego. I'm a bit jealous, especially since it's nasty cold and raining here. And I just KNOW that San Diego will be gorgeous tomorrow. Not to mention the fabulous shopping at Horton Plaza. Not that he'll be going there, but still. I could!

We had a bit of a rough patch this weekend. I'm struggling with my whacked-out controlling tendencies. For so long, I have relied on my personal space and ingrained habits to try and control things when they get crazy. Stupid habits and a tendency to play the role of the responsibility martyr. Wonder where I may have gotten that one, Mom? So poor J has borne the brunt of those tendencies. It's the weirdest feeling in the world. I know I'm doing it. I think it;s ridiculous to be all pissed off and furiously scrubbing at crap for no good reason, yet I cannot make myself stop. Then I get pissed at myself and further withdraw. Freak!

But we talked about it. He;s trying to understand how much a transition this is for both D and I. We also refocused on counseling and communication. We're going to read through the Five Love Languages together. I've read it before and know how much it will help us to understand each other and how we give and receive love. He is such an amazing man. I adore him with my whole heart. But it's hard at times after being alone and independent for so long. He's the guy that's worth it, though. We'll make it happen . . . of that I have no doubt.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Family has Arrived, Now I must make Jell-o Shots!

I almost feel bad for the creators of Jell-o. Their intent to make a family-friendly snack has been warped mightily in my family. Jell-o Shots have become a requirement of any family function or recognized holiday. It's kinda sad, really. But the sadness is over-ridden by the gleeful question, will tonight be the night that my 89 year-old Grandma sucks a Jell-o Shot out of a dixie cup to join the drunken ranks of the fruit of her loins?

Dear God, let there be pictures to post tomorrow!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Breakdown, Breakdown

So my little guy, D, had the long-expected breakdown last night. He was tired, overwhelmed, confused, overloaded, worried . . . all wrapped into one. He has been so busy lately, mostly because of J and I getting engaged, looking for a house, etc. Not too mention the sneaky little bully at school. But I'll take care of that little problem, if I have to! Damn first graders!

Everything that we (D and I) have known for 7 years has shifted in the last three months. Heck, I've had major breakdowns! So he was a total booger to me last night. Attitude up the ying-yang! I responded by putting him in the shower and heading him towards bed. Before we got there, however, he lost it. Wrapped in a clean white towel, fresh from the shower . . . still wet, for that matter . . . he just curled up on my lap and cried. He misses J when he is gone. He misses him so much that he wished that we'd never met him. But since we HAVE met him, he just has to miss him. (This is all straight from him, the little 7-year-old therapist.)

D is so afraid to hold onto the relationship that he has made with J. D has never known his birthdad and that still cuts deeply into his emotional development. He wants so desperately to cling to J, but he is afraid. Because no matter what I have said and done over the last several years, D has some belief that his birthdad left because of him. Which breaks my heart into a million pieces. He is desperately afraid that J will leave too.

It would be easier if I could just explain the whole issue of sexual preference to D and expect him to grasp and accept the concept. I can imagine the conversation . . . "Baby, your birthdad didn't leave because of you. He left because of me. Because Mommies and Daddies have something called sex. And your Daddy only likes to have sex with other men. And Mommy is not a man . . . " Needless to say, it's not a conversation we'll be having anytime soon. But I still wish there was an easy way to take the pressure off of my most awesome little guy.

Let's see . . . some random thoughts:

1. Wedding: still no place . . . therefore still no date.
2. House: both homes that we want are still firmly in escrow. Not with us.
3. My Body: bloated, too big, too jiggly . . . but not pregnant. (And I know this because of my incessant need to take pregnancy tests before having a glass of wine or cold medicine. I need to be buying them at the Dollar Store or get my neurosis under control!)
4. Family: descending upon the Chico area tomorrow. For a LONG weekend.
5. Fashion: did you know that freakin' leggings are coming back into style? Jiminy Christmas! What's next? Stirrup pants and flats? Yikes!
6. Hormones: fairly normal - thanks be to God
7. Weather: getting better
8. My House: messy.
9. My Current State: exhausted.

Does that suffice for a random, slightly past my bedtime post? I THINK SO! AND I AM STILL THE BOSS OF ME!

However, a post script is necessary . . . D is rockin' at baseball. I think that my little guy may have gained some coordination this year. Smacking balls, making plays and the most important thing? Loving it. The most impressive thing? Not crying, like last year. I am ALL ABOUT the sports that do not invoke tears. Amen to that!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Didn't get the house . . . again

So we put in an offer on the house in Cal Park. Above asking, clean loan . . . short escrow. And we STILL didn't get it. I know, I really KNOW, that there is a house out there that is meant for us, but it's hard to take two times in a week. This was worse than the Brenni Way house because we went though the motions and emotions of placing an offer. Shit, John even drew up the plans for a 4th bedroom/3rd bathroom addition. He even met the neighbors. I really liked the house and LOVED the neighborhood. I'm kinda teary about the whole thing. So I'm going to bed. Where instead of celebratory s*x, we're talking maybe a conciliatory backrub? Crap, it's just not the same!

Normal Hormones, Hopefully?

I think it's amazing what hormones actually do to women. They can completely change your personality! Not to mention how you feel, look, act, desire, eat . . . they can really determine how you live and who you are! Nasty little buggers!

After three weeks of living on the hormonal roller coaster, I am beginning to feel/be normal again. J looked at me yesterday and sighed and said, "honey, you're back!" He's right, I hope. (Of course I didn't tell him he was right, I just smacked him on the arm and said, "so what are you saying, that I've been a bitch for the last few weeks?") Of course, I am still eating like a total pig, although my Spagettio cravings have gone away, at least! Who eats Spagettio's? At least, who eats them that is over the age of 8? I can only hope and pray that I never crave them again, for gosh sakes!

We're struggling with wedding stuff, although we are both on the same page. J's sister is newly pregnant, after lots of struggles to get there. Her due date is October 30th. Our wedding date, if we have it at Grey Eagle Lodge is October 14th. That means that his Mom wouldn't be able to make it, since she would be in Texas waiting for C to go into labor (which I totally understand, by the way). So we have been looking for other venues, while keeping Grey Eagle hanging. They're only going to hang for a while longer. I found a place in Tahoe (which I was trying to avoid for all of the cheesiness that tends to go along with Tahoe) that might work. The problem, however, is that all of these places are currently under 10 feet of snow! It makes it tough to go look around and make decisions for a late summer/fall wedding!

We are also in the midst of house stuff. We found another house, slightly smaller than the one we fell in love with. Better neighborhood. No pool. Great lot. Older construction (it's just 10 years old, but still). Better neighborhood. Did I say that already? We're ready to write an offer this afternoon, but it's scary in this market! Things feel weird. Inventory is coming up, but stuff is sitting longer. This house, of course, came on the market Thursday and had an offer in by Saturday. We just have great taste, and share that great taste with lots of other buyers, unfortunately!

Heck, I might as well get pregnant, then we could really have a lot on my plate! Or run for the Board of Trustees for our School District. If we had an extra $10K to campaign? I swear I would. I am so frustrated by our current school board. They are so motivated by each of their own special interests. Granted, would I highly support charter school education? Heck, ya! But can I see things and make decisions based on the broader picture? You bet! But, alas, it is not meant to be. At least right now. And really? That's a good thing!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

More Engagement Photos

I still cannot believe that J hired a photographer to capture his proposal in print. It literally blows me away. He knows my heart like no one else has ever tried to. I am so incredibly blessed by him.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Engagement; Captured

Seriously, could he be any more perfect for me?

Friday, March 17, 2006

Slacker . .. what a slacker I've become!

OK, in my defense . . . I've had a lot on my plate. School issues that have involved sitting at the Board of Trustees meeting for over four hours, just to speak at the "public comment" portion of the meeting which didn't begin until 11:00 pm. On a school night. That little escapade came after emailing the Board and District staff for about five straight hours. It also resulted in hours more worth of meetings scheduled, cancelled and then maybe scheduled again. So my volunteer position on our school board is definitely taking some time and energy!

J came up on Wednesday. We found a house that we love. Unfortunately, they had just accepted an offer and it looks like it's going through. Pisser. Great neighborhood . . . corner house on a cultasack, inground pool, move-in ready . . . a couple of blocks from my Mom and lots of families that I know. We might place a back-up offer, but it will likely be for naught. My whole line of "it'll happen when it's supposed to, and the right house will come around when we're ready" really sounds empty when you've found a great house and can't have it!

I traveled to Redding for work this week. It's budget season, which means big fun, all the way around. I actually worked on several projects. I started dealing with the hell that will be my taxes. I worked in D's class, made a huge project for his teacher's birthday, AND LOTS OF OTHER IMPORTANT STUFF. . . so am I excused from the blogging absence?

And with that I say . . . Happy St. Patrick's Day! I'm going to go drink some green tequila.

Monday, March 13, 2006

A Clarification, re: the Ring

When I referred to the Nuva Ring in an earlier post (or two), I apparently confused some folks. Not surprising, given that I brought it up at about the same time that I had an engagement ring placed on my finger.

The Nuva Ring is from the devil, if you will recall. The engagement ring is from the love of my life.

The Nuva Ring is a hormonal method of birth control, also used to regulate hormones. In my case, it caused the following symptoms: weight gain, lowered sex drive, severe irritability, depression, bitchiness, near psychosis, and did I mention lowered sex drive and depression?

It was not a good thing. Unfortunately, the hormones do not immediately leave your body when you remove the ring. It takes time. And dear Lord, I hope that time is soon coming. As does J, I'm sure!

Anyway, TMI, I know, but too many people asked what type of reaction I was having to my engagement ring, so I had to clarify! Have a good night and pray that the power of the Nuva Ring will soon be defeated!

Recovering from a night with my good friend, Patron

When you start your Monday and all you can do is focus on when the weekend will arrive again? It's going to be a long week!

I overindulged on Saturday evening. Champagne, Patron and red wine was the order of overindulgence, finished off with much dancing and a 2:00 am breakfast at Jack's. However, it was well worth it! I was, with one other member of our Board, responsible for a brief presentation regarding how charter schools are different financially and why support was so necessary, as well as introducing our auctioneer. Five minutes before I was handed the microphone, I realized that I could no longer feel my tongue, due to the copious amount of tequila that had flowed over it. Fortunately, I faked a decent level of sobriety and we had an awesome presentation, in a Letterman Top Ten format.

Our Reasons 10-2 were all fundamentally solid. Our #1 reason was an act of faith on my part. I had asked our Principal to don a tutu and dance for me . . . he (wisely) refused. I believed however, in the persuasive power of free drinks, and ended our list with, "and the #1 reason to support CCDS financially is because we have a Principal willing to wear a pink tutu and dance to raise funds!" He came through, big time. Everyone was on their feet, screaming and yelling. It was great. (We later auctioned off the RENTED tutu for a cool $1000.) Hopefully, that will cover the deposit!

Amy G. and I bought a reserved parking spot for next year, which we will share on a rotating basis. J bought me a limited addition CCDS fleece for a tidy sum of $400. I reciprocated and bought his for a bargain price of $350. I spent approximately what I had budgeted (maybe slightly more, but who's counting?) and also co-bought a date for D with his teacher and one of his class cookie jars.

I fell in a puddle of beer, which was not the highlight of the evening, but oh well. J says that I was somewhat graceful going down and really, that's all that matters! I also found out that my camera had been knocked out of the correct mode, so all of my pictures are blurry. Hopefully someone else got some to use in our slide show for next year.

J is gone again, here for just Saturday night through this morning. We looked at houses again yesterday and have come to the conclusion that we can get into something more financially feasible and still be very happy. So we're still looking. It's fairly important to both of us that we build this marriage on/in a neutral environment, versus where I have called home for almost 5 years. I am hoping that it will help me to accept his help more readily and feel like it's our home versus my home. I am so fiercely independent and I need to remember that being able to do it all by myself, doesn't mean that I should!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Lace Dresses

Why does the designer only tease me with the top of this dress? Why on earth would they not put up another view of it . . . Say with someone standing up and showing the BOTTOM HALF OF IT?

And what does it say about me that the dress I keep coming back to is four seasons old, thereby making it impossible to try on or buy through a normal retail establishment?

And WHAT DOES IT REALLY SAY ABOUT ME, that this dress is apparently a favorite dress for transvestites to choose when exchanging vows? Nothing against the trannies, I'm just curious about what that says about ME? Because I should not enter a well-known dress designer and style number and continually be re-directed to trannie chat boards discussing how fabulous this dress is.

I'm thinking that I should keep looking!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Crazy Week . . .

I'm beginning to think that there is no such thing as a mellow week around here anymore!

We're finishing up all of the work on our annual school auction. It's Saturday night and today was the two-day-prior-chaos-day! On Monday we had only sold 62 tickets. As of today, we had to add three additional tables and max out the venue to 264! It's awesome, but crazy, all at the same time. I am worried that we won't have big bidders there, but it always works out in the end. Maybe if bidding is not crazy, maybe we'll end up with the adorable class project for D's class. It's a beautiful birdbath that the kids decorated with little rock froggies. Too cute! But I'm not going over $300, so the likelihood will be that it goes home with someone else (which is a good thing, really)!

Next year, when I'm likely co- chairing the event? I will take the week prior to as vacation and spend all of my waking hours running around for the school. Because it's too hard to actually work when I'm this busy as a volunteer!

I had breakfast with a girlfriend this morning who shared with me that they are pregnant! Yah! I can't wait to buy cute things for all of my friends and (1) cousin that are preggo. Then maybe in a year or so, I can buy some cute things for a little one of my own. It's so odd to me that I completely set aside my dream of another child for so long, and now, it's almost within arm's reach (assuming that all goes well when we try)!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Various Scenes from the Engagement

The Ring!

I'm Getting Married!

So, I'll briefly summarize the days between Wednesday and Friday, because they can be summed up as this: the Nuva Ring is not my friend. It is from the devil. Now that we have determined that the Nuva Ring is from the devil and removed it from my person, I am slowly regaining a hold on my sanity. Things were UGLY for a few days. That J is still willing to marry me after those days? The man is a definite keeper!

Yesterday morning, we were leaving for Sonoma. I was hassled. (Poor J looked out the window at 8:00 am to see me in pajamas and boots, frantically picking up dog poop in the backyard, just minutes before we were supposed to leave!) I had told him that I needed a few minutes to clean out my car if we were going to take it and he kept putting me off. Finally, I went into the garage and did it anyway. He peaked his head out and said, "honey, could you please stop doing that for a minute and come see something?" I shot him a look of death, but complied. Came out the front door to see a stretch limo parked in front of the house. J says, "you really didn't need to clean out your car, babe!"

All should be good, but at that point, D loses it. He has been fairly tentative about J and I leaving AGAIN and the limo pushed him over the top. He runs to his room crying, tells J to "go away" when he follows him in and then covers his head with a pillow and sobs for 15 minutes. I talked him down, explained that riding in a limo really wasn't that much fun and that we'd be back on Sunday. D spilled a secret and said that we'd actually be back that night (thank goodness, since J wouldn't let me back anything!) So finally, we were off!

J brought a bottle of my favorite sparkling wine, Veuve Cliquot, and there were chocolates in the limo, so that was our breakfast! I was able to relax and stop being pyscho-bitch for a while! We made one stop for gas and snacks in Fairfield and then headed to Sonoma. We stopped at Gloria Ferrer for a tasting, and then headed out for our appointment at Viansa. J had already told me that we had a tasting at 1:00, so I was expecting that.

We were led into the library by Robert, our wine guru. He poured us five increasing excellent wines, paired with some wonderful little tidbits f food and talked us through the whole thing. I had done similar tasting before, so it was fun to do it with J since it was the first time he had done anything like that. We had a grand 'ole time and Robert showed us out the door. He mentioned that we should really take a look up at the upper tasting area and be sure to look out over their riparian wetlands. We headed up there and I vaguely noticed that J's iPod and a few other goodies were set out on a table with some snacks for us. I thought it was very thoughtful of the winery staff, but continued to make my way towards the telescope and the riparian wetlands view! Poor J, he was not nearly as interested at looking through the sight as I was!

He finally led me back over to the table and that's when it got blurry. "Bless the Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts came over the iPod and all of a sudden he was on his knee. I think I blurted out, "oh my God, are you doing this right now?" and then promptly burst into tears! Neither of us remember exactly what he said,but whatever he asked me, I said "yes!"

If I ever doubted that I adore this man and that he was created for me? He had a photography there to capture the whole thing! So, although I don't have them yet, I should soon have photos of the actual proposal and the time we spent after!

I'm cutting out a lot of details, because I am dying to go to bed, but the limo brought us back to Chico for my next surprise. We pulled up to the Italian Cottage and I saw D and my Mom and thought my surprise was having dinner with them - instead, after D and I took a quick ride in the limo? We walked into a room full of our families and friends, all who knew exactly what J had been planning all along!

I will post more details and pictures later, but I am emotionally, physically and spiritually exhausted from the adrenaline rush that we've been living in over the weekend. I need sleep, lots more than I am going to get in the next 7 hours!

By the way... if there was ever a cause for comments? This is it!